Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the subject of religious freedom. He is the Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) new “Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.”

In his testimony, Bishop Lori called on Congress to pass three pending bills focusing on protecting life and respecting conscience rights. Bishop Lori said the bills “go a long way toward guaranteeing religious liberty and freedom of conscience for religious employers, health insurers, and health care providers.”

He also urged the House not to sign the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act which recognizes marriage as an institution reserved for a man and a woman.

USCCB president Archbishop Timothy Dolan made an excellent choice when he selected Bishop Lori for this post. The Bridgeport bishop did not disappoint in his testimony. Indeed, he laid out, in exacting detail, the threats to religious liberty that exist today.

What is most disturbing about the nature of today’s threats is that most stem from government, with the Obama administration leading the way. This is a condition that cannot be tolerated at any level of government, but it is particularly alarming when the federal government amasses its resources against the First Amendment.

Because of its wide network of social agencies, the Catholic Church is feeling the pressure more than other religions, making this a critical issue for Catholics across the nation.

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